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KORONAS-Foton or CORONAS-Photon, a Russian satellite for solar physics, solar-terrestrial connection physics and astrophysics, was launched at 13:30 UT on 30 January 2009 from Plesetsk. Koronas-Foton has a mass of 1920 kg, an expected lifetime of three years and has two solar panels providing approximately 2 kW power. Koronas-Foton is part of the International Living with a Star (ILWS) program.

The primary purpose of the mission is the study of solar electromagnetic radiation, especially from solar flares, in the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) up to high-energy gamma-ray radiation. It will also be capable of making parallel observations of Earth's upper atmosphere in EUV and soft X-rays as well as monitoring other astrophysical X-ray and gamma-ray sources. A high-energy particle detector on-board will also be capable of monitoring the near-Earth plasma environment. The satellite will operate from a circular orbit of 500 km altitude with an inclination of 82.5°.

The satellite carries several instruments: NATALYA-2M, a high-energy spectrometer; RT-2, a low-energy gamma-ray telescope; PENGUIN-M, a hard X-ray polarimeter-spectrometer; KONUS-RF, an X-ray and gamma-ray spectrometer; BRM, a fast X-ray monitor; PHOKA, a multi-channel ultraviolet monitor; TESIS, a solar telescope/imaging spectrometer; ELECTRON-M-PESCA, a charged particle analyzer; and STEP-F, a high-energy particle detector. It is also equipped with a magnetometer, a data acquisition and registration system and a control and communications block.

The Moscow Engineering Physics Institute (MEPhI) is the prime institution responsible for the mission payload. The Scientific-Research Electromechanic Institute (NIIEM) is responsible for the spacecraft design and manufacture. Teams from Russia, India, Ukraine, Spain and Poland contributed to the development of the science payloads.

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 2009-01-30
Launch Vehicle: Tsiklon-3
Launch Site: Plesetsk, Russia

Funding Agency

  • Moscow Engineering Physics Institute (Russia)


  • Solar Physics

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office

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